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Sonik Kicks by Paul Weller
Released: Mar 2012
Label: Yep Roc Records
The Modfather has gone and made himself a Super Furry Animals album. Sonik Kicks is impressively bonkers, wherein the long-adored Jam frontman dives headlong into psychedelic pop, absorbing everything from Krautrock to Pink Floyd-style pastoral weirdness to the full-blown dub reggae epic "Study in Blue," a duet with his current wife, Hannah. (Both Blur's Graham Coxon and Oasis' Noel Gallagher stop by -- separately -- as well.) Meanwhile, his still-formidable twilight-punk croon keeps ballads like "Be Happy Children" and "By the Waters" afloat. This is fearless, and very rarely boring.
Rob Harvilla